A few weeks ago, GE Global Research said that it successfully demonstrated a micro-holographic material that can support data recording at the same speed as Blu-ray discs. This means that, when commercialized, consumers will be able to store 500 GB worth of data on a DVD-sized disk, digitally stashing away roughly the same amount as 20 Blu-ray discs and 100 standard-format DVDs.
“During the past two years, our research team has been focused on material improvements to increase the recording speed and making other key advances needed to ready GE’s micro-holographic technology for market,” said Peter Lorraine, Manager of the Applied Optics Lab at GE Global Research. "With a speed to match Blu-ray's, discs made from GE's advanced micro-holographic materials are an attractive solution for both archival and consumer entertainment systems."
Currently optical discs store data on up to four thin metal layers applied to the medium's plastic surface, storing as much as 128 GB on one disc (BDXL). But GE's new technology allows data to be written directly within the plastic itself using holograms' three-dimensional patterns, stacking up to 20 blue-laser readable layers.
GE indicated that future micro-holographic discs will read and record on systems very similar to a typical Blu-ray or DVD player. The hardware and formats will be so similar to current optical storage solutions that future micro-holographic players will enable consumers to play back their CDs, DVDs and BDs.
"This latest breakthrough in Holographic Data Storage represents a significant step forward on the path to commercializing this technology," said William Kernick, Vice President of Technology Ventures for GE. "We are looking forward to engaging with strategic industry partners to create an exciting new solution in the marketplace."
Now with the 500 GB capacity threshold achieved, the team is shooting for storing 1 TB of data using a blue laser – they may even use a different shape than the current circular format later on.